Nestrans board discuss transport links to Buchan

The busy A90 from Ellon to Peterhead.
The busy A90 from Ellon to Peterhead.

Nestrans officials and councillors met on Tuesday to discuss the transport links between Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Aberdeen.

As hybrid packages laid out in the interim report were discussed it was made clear that a mix of road and rail could be used to help transport links with Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

However there still does not appear to be any plan to fully dual the roads to Peterhead and Fraserburgh, or to at this time, extend the rail links to the two towns.

Instead the progress report for the Peterhead and Fraserburgh to Aberdeen Strategic Transport Study offers an option which includes dualling to the Toll of Birness.

The report also puts forward a package that would introduce a heavy rail service between Dyce and Ellon at a cost of up to £260 million.

This option would enable the “potential” introduction rail links between Ellon and Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Founder of the Why Stop at Ellon? Campaign said: “I am delighted that the dualling is now firmly on an agenda.

“The two options cover very different types of travel, both being very worthy of pursuing.”

The councillor highlighted why a railway line to Ellon was not a sufficient means of reducing driving times on the A90 from the north east.

She said: “The current issue with the A90 is the travel time and the frustration caused by being stuck behind a number of HGVs or tractors.

“The HGVs have generally come from either Peterhead or Fraserburgh harbours and they are full of freight that is on an onward journey.”

She added: “So a rail link between Dyce and Ellon may not solve these issues particularly in the short term.”

Cllr Owen also stressed that future growth is predicted and therefore it is an area where travel is going to be a given.

She said: “We need to be bold and foresighted.

The Nestrans board has now asked officers to create a “hybrid package” for both road and rail.